Korean experimental metal project Madmans Esprit returned to Japan for the first time since 2022 with a five-day concert series, “CHOP -5 days-“ at Ikebukuro Chop. Each night, they headlined alongside artists such as 101A, emmurée, and ZIZ. We also had the chance to interview Madmans Esprit’s Kyuho about the concert series, adding to the excitement.

As a fan, I wanted to attend as many dates as possible just to see Madmans Esprit. However, when the lineup for their shows was announced, I knew I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t go to all of them. I’ve attended shows three days in a row before but had never done five. I intended on headbanging ferociously each day, so I wasn’t sure if my body could take it.

Adding to the hype, Madmans Esprit announced a special stamp rally for fans who attended three shows or more. This further convinced me to attend all five shows—neck and back pain be damned.

Join me on my five-day whirlwind through Ikebukuro CHOP, following Madmans Esprit.


Day 1: (My) Warmup

For this five-day tour, vocalist Kyuho was joined by Juho (guitar), Geon (bass), Limu (drums), and Senyt (support guitar). Senyt has supported Madmans Esprit live in the past and he came out after each show to promote his cosmic black metal project, Celestial Annihilator. The latest release was mixed and mastered by Kyuho. Please check it out on YouTube!

ACM::: took the stage first, captivating the audience with contrasting vocals, mystical synths, and aggressive guitar.

101A played next. Their music combines grunge, industrial, and shoegaze which left the audience mesmerized.

As the headliner, Madmans Esprit took the stage at the end of the night. Most of Madmans Esprit’s setlist was made up of songs from the earlier albums NACHT and CONSCIENTIZATION OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS (무의식의 의식화). Fans also got to hear the title track from the new single Tsuiraku (墜落) live for the first time.

The last song of the main set was My Little Dark Paradise. I was thrilled to finally experience this song live because it is one of the first Madmans Esprit songs I heard and has been a favorite ever since.

Day 1 setlist

1. a day in black
2. In der nacht
3. Mangtanshi
4. from the nothingness
5. Tsuiraku
6. My Little Dark Paradise

Encore

7. Garden of skeletons

Day 2: The Kettle

Day two was a great time. We danced, clapped, and headbanged a lot, and all the performers seemed to be enjoying themselves.

As Kyuho mentioned in our interview, Ai to Heiwa (愛と平和) is a group of musicians who are friends with Madmans Esprit. Ai to Heiwa also performs as a session cover band of the legendary Japanese electronic group, SOFT BALLET.

During the MC session, the vocalist of Ai to Heiwa mentioned that they had been long-time drinking companions with Madmans Esprit, and expressed their joy at sharing a stage with them. There was a kettle duct taped to a mic stand and at a certain point, he began banging on it with drum sticks. Several of their fans were ecstatic when this happened and the vocalist threw those very sticks into the crowd at the end of their set.

Maybe it’s the industrial fan in me, but kitchenware and other random objects being used as musical instruments amuses me greatly.

Next up was the band Larme Belladonna. Their music was upbeat and their fans did “furitsuke” choreography the entire time. Some of them were even joking around with each other and pretending to fight over their favorite member. One song even included two-stepping! They put on a very fun and energetic show.

The kettle from Ai to Heiwa’s set made an appearance when the vocalist picked it up and started hitting it. Everyone clapped for the kettle’s return!

Madmans Esprit’s setlist fit the day’s fun vibe. They played a lot of songs that are fun to dance and go wild to. We all sang along to Suicidol during the encore.

Kyuho didn’t forget our friend, the kettle, and gave it some love, too.

Day 2 setlist

1. Euimong
2. Garden of skeletons
3. Mangtanshi
4. Tsuiraku/Churak (New Release)
5. Mismatch
6. Idon’tknowwhoIambutthesexgoeson
7. Hass und Ignoranz
8. Seoul
9. Ssibal

Encore

10. Suicidol

Day 3: Darkness

emmurée is a legendary band that has been around for 25 years and they certainly lived up to their reputation. Vocalist Sou wailed into the microphone while making bird-like movements. His messy black hair and draped back clothes matched emmurée’s dark and gothic sound, and their fans were thrilled when he announced a one-man show to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Madmans Esprit opened with In der Nacht. The rest of the setlist was full of dark, melancholy songs that kept up the atmosphere from where emmurée left off.

I was already feeling quite dead from days one and two and this was the first day of the tour that I also had to work before the show, so I was glad that both bands played sets that matched my mood on that day.

Day 3 setlist

1. In der Nacht
2. Euimong
3. Tsuiraku/Churak (New Release)
4. a day in black
5. Ich bin die Kunst
6. from the nothingness
7. Mismatch
8. I hope I die

Encore

9. Garden of skeletons

Day 4: Boogie Woogie

The penultimate day saw Madmans Esprit share the stage with even more legends! ZIZ‘s members have been in the scene for a long time and Közi, on vocals and guitar, was one of the founding members of MALICE MIZER. Their set kept us dancing and the members gave off great energy.

Once again, Madmans Esprit matched the other band’s energy with a set full of (head) bangers. For this show, I joined two lovely Japanese fans who had been on the barrier all week and we did our best to show the band that we were having fun.

I was on the “kamite” (house right) side so when I wasn’t headbanging I had a great view of Limu and Senyt.

Day 4 setlist

1. I hope I die
2. Ich bin die Kunst
3. Mangtanshi
4. Idon’tknowwhoIambutthesexgoeson
5. Hass und Ignoranz
6. Garden of skeletons
7. Mismatch
8. Seoul
9. Ssibal

Encore

10. Suicidol

DAY 5: The Insanity

The last day of the tour drew more of a crowd than the rest of the week. This was because only Madmans Esprit and an opening act were scheduled to perform, allowing Madmans Esprit more stage time compared to the previous nights.

ZIGGRAT was a great opener to get the energy up. Their vocalist, Yashiro, does a bit where he puts a bug-catching net out into the crowd and asks  “Will you be my friend?” (私の友達になってくれませんか?). The net has a small cup in it with the date of the performance and whoever decides to accept it gets a thank you and a souvenir to take home.

As soon as ZIGGRAT finished playing, I ran over to the “shimote” (house left) side barrier to get a spot near Geon and Juho for the final night. Ikebukuro CHOP is a small venue with a good view of the stage no matter where you stand, but I loved being able to see how each member played up close over the course of the week. Kyuho’s vocals were crystal clear and all five days I was in awe of the talent before me.

The Madmans Esprit fans really showed up for the last night, headbanging, screaming, and singing along to a hard-hitting setlist.

Toward the end of the show, Kyuho grabbed the kettle from day two and banged on it a good bit. Those of us who had been there on day two cheered and laughed!

Day 5 setlist

1. a day in black
2. In der Nacht
3. Euimong
4. Idon’tknowwhoIambutthesexgoeson
5. Mismatch
6. I hope I die
7. Hass und Ignoranz
8. Ssibal
9. Ich bin die Kunst
10. My little dark paradise
11. from the nothingness
12. Tsuiraku/Churak (New Release)
13. Mangtanshi
14. Garden of skeletons

Encore

15. Seoul
16. Suicidol

At the end of the show I went to the merch table to receive my last stamp for the stamp rally and claim my prize—some stickers and access to exclusive digital content!


If you weren’t able to catch “Madmans Esprit JAPAN TOUR 2024 -CHOP 5 days-”, we have good news! Kyuho announced that Madmans Esprit would be back in Tokyo in early April of this year. The band performs at Shibuya Cyclone on April 8, before returning to Ikebukuro CHOP on April 9.

If you would like to support Madmans Esprit, the project’s Official Fan Page has been updated on Patreon with new fan club membership tiers and updated content.

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